Amir Worship was 12 years old when he was shot in the knee by a Richton Park police officer during a home raid in 2019. Following the incident, the officer accused of shooting Amir, Caleb Blood, claimed the gun he was armed with was faulty and accidentally discharged, according to the Chicago Sun-Times.
Richton Park police recently agreed to pay a $12 million settlement to resolve a lawsuit filed in connection with the incident. Aside from the monetary settlement, Blood and Richton Park publicly apologized to Amir. However, it is expected that Amir will require several knee replacements over the course of his life.
“Officer Blood should be fired,” attorney Al Hofeld Jr. told reporters last Wednesday. “Not only has he not been fired, but Officer Blood has not even been disciplined in any form or fashion for shooting a 12-year-old boy.”
Hofeld also requested that the Cook County state’s attorney’s office launch a new investigation into Blood, citing the inadequacy of the previous three investigations into the incident. “I accept his apologies, but he was reckless that day,” said Amir’s mother, Crystal Worship. “We have a lot of healing to do.”
Crystal’s boyfriend was the suspect sought by officers during the 2019 raid. Hofeld claimed that after his arrest, authorities charged him with drug possession. However, those charges were eventually dropped.
The officers who entered the home during the raid handcuffed Amir’s 13-year-old brother, according to the lawsuit, and another officer pointed a rifle at Amir. According to Hofeld, the officer’s gun discharged while Amir was sitting on his bed and obeying the officer’s orders, as reported by the Chicago Sun-Times.
According to Hofeld, Amir testified that the gun discharged as the officer repositioned the rifle. Hofeld claimed the officer was aiming the rifle at Amir’s chest before it went off. According to the attorney, the teen was struck in the right knee because he leaned back to put on his shoes.
Hofeld claims Amir has undergone five surgeries since then and suffers from PTSD. Officer Blood, according to Hofeld, recently requested that Richton Park police assign him to desk duty, and the South Suburban Emergency Response Team relieved him of his duties in September 2020 for “multiple violations of firearm safety.”
According to Hofeld, Richton Park previously paid $320,000 to settle a claim that Amir’s mother and two brothers’ civil rights were violated during the raid.
“From the bottom of our hearts, we apologize to Amir Worship, his mother Crystal Worship and their family for the tragic mistake made by a Richton Park police officer on May 26, 2019,” Richton Park said in a statement last Wednesday.
But Hofeld said children being shot by police will not stop so far as officers continue the tradition of “pointing guns indiscriminately at everyone in the home when they enter, including children.”
Amir’s family relocated to Texas in the aftermath of the incident.